A high school age teen was curled up under a blanket on the living room floor of his home. The room was dark because it was the middle of the night. There was no sound except for the teen’s weeping.
The teen tried to will the pain of both body and mind away, and tried to drown out the voices in his head; sinister voices that degraded his existence and tore at his soul. The teen sighed heavily as gazed up at the ceiling. He’d given up wiping away that emerged from his dark green eyes and down his pale cheeks.
“Please,” he whispered shakily, “Leave me alone.”
Then, he lay on his side and cried himself to sleep.
About mid afternoon, most of the students at Jasper High had study hall. Three students were heading toward the library for that reason alone.
Until recently, they hadn’t even realized they shared this same period. In fact, if not for these three kids witnessing something no human was ever suppose to even know about, they may have never gotten past the name base.
When the trio entered the library, they were greeted by the sight of their classmates studying, reading, and quiet chattering. Jack was about to go and sit with Sierra, but Miko grabbed his arm and started pulling him and Raf toward a different table.
“Not today, lover boy,” she teased, “I need help with my math homework and a study buddy for history class since I bombed the last paper.”
Raf was for math since he was ahead of his age group in that category, and Jack was in the same history class as Miko and he had done well on the last paper. Jack just sighed and let Miko drag them wherever she deemed their study space, but they were abruptly halted by Raf.
“Miko, we can’t sit there,” the 12.25 year old whispered.
The older teens stared in confusion, than Jack looked toward the table Miko had been pulling them towards and froze. The table was empty except for one individual.
A teen, in the same age group as Jack and Miko, sat at the table with textbook, notebook, and pencil in front of him. He had headphones and mp3 on and he wore long jeans, running shoes, and a long sleeved tee with a hood. All his clothes; backpack; Ipod and headphones were black. His skin was so pale one could easily make out all the major veins. A few years ago, his hair had been brown, but it had faded into a sandy off white color. Everyone suspected he was nothing but skin and bones, but one couldn’t tell because of how big and baggy his clothes were. If not for the fact he was taking notes, his sleeves usually covered his hands.
He was just sitting there, doing his homework, and ignored everyone while listening to music through his headphones. Jack hesitated then pulled back as well. Miko stared dumbfounded at both of them.
“That’s Carson,” Raf explained, “We’re not supposed to go near him.”
“And why not,” Miko huffed, “He looks harmless to me.”
Jack sighed, “Miko, necessarily that. There are a lot of rumors flying around that he does drugs. It would explain his altered physical appearance over the last couple of years.”
“My mom said that if she ever caught me anywhere near him, I’d be grounded forever,” Raf was starting to sound a little panicked.
Jack replied, “Yeah, mine too.”
Miko just blew it off, “Last I checked rumors are not facts and my okaasan taught me to never judge someone by a rumor or their appearance. I’ve been judged by my clothes and hair enough to know how it feels. Just because I wear combat boots doesn’t mean I’m a law breaker. You know I expected better from the substitute Prime.”
That last statement came with air quotes and caused Jack to flinch a little. Raf looked ashamed too; but before either of them could say anything, Miko turned on her heels and strutted toward the loner.
Carson was so used to being alone and ignored that the slam of a sling bag on the table he was sitting at nearly caused he to jump out of his skin. He had a hand on his chest and tried to catch his breath. He looked at the sling, then the hand on the sling, then his eyes traveled up the arm attached to the hand, and then he made eye contact with the owner of the arm, hand, and sling.
‘It’s the exchange student,’ Carson pondered, ‘Guess no one has warned her about me yet.’
“Hi,” she chirped, “I’m Miko Nakadai. Mind if I sit here?”
Carson didn’t know what to do. He wanted to say yes. It had been a long time since he had talked to someone that wasn’t a police officer; but out the corner of his eye, Carson could see everybody in the library staring at them.
‘Somebody will probably come over to save her momentarily, so may as well not answer,’ Carson sighed and as if on cue.
“Hey, Miko,” Sierra called and waved her over, “You can sit with us.”
“Nah, your table is already crammed. Thank anyway.”
And with that, Miko plopped down right next to Carson. Everyone gasped and Carson stiffened while keeping his head down. He could feel several eyes drilling into him. He was about to give up and leave, but froze at the sound of two other chairs being pulled out at his table.
He looked up to see that sitting furthest away was Raf. Carson didn’t know much about him except he had to be awfully smart because they were in the same honors math class. When Carson gazed at the occupant between Miko and Raf, he flinched when he saw it was Jack Darby. When Jack gazed back, Carson shivered and looked down. Jack felt partially ashamed, but his thoughts were interrupted.
“How can you be cold,” Miko teased, “We’re in a desert state right? Plus, you’re covered in black.”
Miko reached over and pinched the sleeve covering Carson’s bicep which caused him to sit up straight with wide green eyes looking ahead.
“Hey, you’ve got some pretty green peepers,” Miko giggled as Carson blushed, “There’s some color on that pastey face!”
Then, she proceeded to pinch Carson’s cheeks. All the while, everyone continued to watch in a stupefied shock except for the blond approaching the table. She stopped and remained standing at the end farthest from Carson.
“Mika, I know you’re new here so chances are its only ignorance that led you to sit here, but rumor has it that this guy puts questionable things in his bloodstream which would explain why hears wears long sleeves. Gotta hide those needle marks right,” Sierra’s friend sneered at Carson.
Carson looked down and Miko’s blood boiled up, but she managed to stay in check for once.
“First, my name is Miko, not Mika. Secondly, fun you of all people should mention rumors. Last I heard, you and Vince did the horizontal monster mash in the back of his car. That would explain why you’re walking funny and wearing that tacky scarf. Gotta hide those hickies right?”
If this were an anime, everyone’s eyes would be white dinner plates. There was a tension that screamed cat fight crackling through the air. Sierra’s friend was gritting her teeth and gripping her textbook so hard that her knuckles were turning white. She stomped around the table and held her book over her head.
“YOU BITCH,” she shrieked as she swung the book down as hard as she could toward Miko’s head.
A loud smacking sound rang through the library and left a complete silence in its wake. Miko had squeezed her eyes shut, preparing for the blow; but it never came.
‘What did she hit then,’ Miko pondered as she slowly opened one eye.
She saw Carson standing over her. Somehow, he had put himself between Miko and that book turned weapon. He had been hit in the back of the head and he was partially hunched over with a pained look on his face.
Next thing, everyone knew the blond psycho had been grabbed by the ear and was being dragged away by the librarian. Looks like something worse than detention would be waiting for her this time.
Carson fell to his hands and knees, and everybody saw blood on the back of his head. Miko got up to help him, but Carson got right back up and ran out the doors before anyone could do anything.
Miko took off after him and they wound up in the men’s room. Carson stuck his head under the faucet and washed away the blood. When the water ran clear, he stood up straight, and then jumped when he saw Miko’s reflection.
“You’re not supposed to be in here,” he stuttered softly.
Miko gave a small smile, “So you can talk.”
Carson nodded slightly before looking down in embarrassment. He stiffened when he felt a pair of arms wrap around him.
“Thank you for taking that hit for me,” Miko smiled big and brightly at him.
Carson stared in slight awe before replaying, “Thank you for giving me the time of day.”
They stood there is silence for a few moments, than the bell signally the end of the school day rang.
“Guess you can tell your host folks you had interesting day,” Carson was warming up to Miko, “Sorry about all that happened. Guess you know to avoid me from now on or at least you will soon since I’m sure something will tell you what’s being said about me.”
“I think I’d rather hear your side of the story since peeps have a way with screwing up the story events somewhere along the way,” Miko smirked, “And I’m not going to avoid you because of today. In fact, you’re right that today was interesting and I prefer interesting over boring like it usually is.”
Miko grabbed him by the elbow and walked out of the building with him. They found Raf standing at the bottom of the steps with both their school bags. Miko picked hers up and slung the strap over head. Raf actually handed Carson his back.
“Thanks for saving Miko,” Raf smiled shyly.
Carson offered a small smile in return and he took his bag.
“Guess we’ll see you tomorrow, right,” Miko asked as she and Raf slowly walked toward their rides.
Carson nodded and turned the other way to head to his truck.
‘Thank you for the friend,’ Carson legit smiled for the first time in a long time.
A/N: Hey, peeps, may I have some opinions. This isn’t the end, there is going to be more. I’m just a little if-ee about it.